Tuesday, December 23, 2008

He Loves the Bathroom

He does get into lots of trouble. Last night he pulled the stopper right out of the sink.

Jack Loves the Sink

Jack Loves the Sink
Originally uploaded by jntrowley
We can't keep the cat out of the sink. He loves running water.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is His Other Couch

Originally uploaded by jntrowley

Jack Can Sleep Anywhere

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
Jack the new cat in the family can literally sleep anywhere. As you can see, he has made himself quite comfortable in our home. The ladies at the rescue group told me he is part Bengal. That didn't mean much to me until I went online and discovered that they have sweet personalities (he does) and that they love water (also something that I have noticed). He is a good companion and loves everyone. Bob is certainly not forgotten but Jack has won everyone's heart.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Come In and You Won't Get Hurt

This picture speaks volumes (to me anyways). I see stuff I want on the dresser but can't get to it. I would love to see if there is still hairspray in the can that used to be in my bathroom and now resides in the far reaches of her room. I have the urge to take the Pepsi bottle back to the grocery store. After all, I spent 10 cents on that bottle. I deserve that bottle. But my rule stands. No stepping past the doorway. I might get hurt.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Stefanie's Bookshelves or What Bacteria Lurks?

her bookshelves.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley
The virtual tour continues.... Today at work I passed my cell phone around to show my coworkers pictures of what my daughter's room looks like. The comments ranged from, "HOLY CRAP" to "OH MY GOD".

Hey, I just laughed. I mean really what do I have to lose? And there's more to come. Unfortunately.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stefanie's Closet

the closet.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley

Here goes nothing. Last night, Danielle grabbed my phone and started sending Stefanie pictures of her room. Even Danielle is sick of the mess that lives next door to her.

Stef keeps saying that she is going to clean it. So I figure that if I start sending these pictures to my blog one at a time, maybe I will see some cleaning going on.

This picture shows that she does have a closet in which to put clothes away. This is how she chooses to use it.

The empty container in the closet is something I bought for her to get her organized. She promised to keep shoes in it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Biofreeze Goes on the Shoulder Not in the Eyes

Biofreeze is a great product. It is kind of like Bengay or Icy Hot except it is cool. When I got up this morning I was shocked to discover that my left shoulder blade hurt. And not the right shoulder that I had broken at a kid's roller skating birthday party years ago. It was my favorite and best shoulder, the left one. So before I made it out the door this morning I remembered to slather some Biofreeze on the aching shoulder blade. Then I remembered that I still needed to put my contacts in. I am very nearsighted and NEVER wear my glasses to work.

I carefully wash my hands and proceed to clean the contacts and put them into my eyes. I put the right lens in. Then the left. The right lens felt not so good, so I took it out and dropped it on the dark kitchen rug in front of the sink. Jack, the cat came running out of nowhere to help me look for the missing contact. I was afraid he would eat it, so I tried to keep him away so I could rescue the contact lens. No such luck. I am about to give up and I see the lens hanging from the front of the dishwasher. It never even hit the floor. I am happy. I rinse the lens off again and insert it into my eye. I then realize that my eyes feel very coooool. Hmmmm. Biofreeze in the eyes. Out the door I go with very cool eyes. Not a good idea.

At lunch I realize my right eye really doesn't feel good. I casually move the lens onto the white of my eye and let it slip back onto my cornea. That is usually all I need to give me some relief. I take a few more bites of my salad. I did that a few times and my eye still didn't feel good. I take the lens out and look at it closely with my nearsighted right eye. Looks like little holes in my lens. Hmmmmm. I remember getting poked in the eye with a branch from the artificial Christmas tree. I was trying to put a branch back into the tree after finding it on the floor again. The cat won't stop climbing the tree and he tends to knock the branches right out of their artificial sockets. By Christmas I am thinking that all the branches will be laying on the carpet and the ornaments will all be broken.

So after throwing the right contact away today, I finished up the afternoon's work with one contact and even drove home that way. My shoulder still hurts. And so does my right eye. And the cat is still climbing the tree. And we all lived happily ever after.

The End

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blogging Ideas

I have been rolling some new ideas around in my head but I'm scared to do it. I went into Stefanie's room this morning and took some pictures of the mess. And I'm being kind when I call it a mess. I used to clean it myself on occasion but she is going to be 22 this month. Should I get her maid service for a birthday present?

I used to clean her room myself but I gave up about 10 years ago because I didn't want to hurt myself trying to make my way into the room. It is even dangerous from the doorway. The cat runs in there but Stef is afraid he will hurt himself too. I see things I want in there like pop bottles that need to be returned and plates that I would like to wash and return to the cupboard.

The problem is that she likes to extend her mess through the house. The dining room table tends to collect her crap. It never ends.

So I was thinking about sending the pictures to my blog. She hasn't read my blog. But she knows it exists. I could threaten her with exposure if she doesn't clean up her act (room).

Food for thought.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Memories

So far things are going right on schedule. I haven't written a single Christmas card. The tree isn't up. No gifts have been purchased (except for stocking stuffers). And Stefanie's birthday is exactly one week before Christmas. No birthday presents have been bought or wrapped. I don't even know if I have birthday wrapping paper in the house. No Christmas cookies have been baked. I did stockpile some chocolate though. And I bought some Christmas candy but I think we ate it.

Christmas stresses me out. Now at some point I do need to take action. I did put the ribbons on the coach lights outside. I could use the new cat as an excuse for my hesitation. Actually, this is typical for me. I work better under pressure. Or so it seems.

One year at Christmas, I broke my shoulder and had to do all my shopping one-handed. Stef's birthday was a rough one that year. I couldn't even do the girl's hair. Had to have the birthday party at a pizza place because I couldn't do much with the right arm in a sling.

One year at Christmas I had to have emergency oral surgery and couldn't open my mouth. I remember smashing a Reese Cup with my fist so I could slip it in between my locked jaws. That was fun.

One year at Christmas my engine blew in my Suburu.

Enough with travelling down memory lane. I think maybe I will get the lights out tonight and put them in the windows before anyone comes home tonight. Maybe tomorrow I will make a list of stuff I need to do for Stefanie's birthday. I probably do have some birthday wrapping paper down in the basement. I am sure the cat would like to check out the supply of Christmas cards tucked away in the boxes of Christmas decorations.

Somehow everything comes together for Christmas every year. I do hope that I have made good memories for the girls over the years. Hopefully they will remember what I have done for them and one day I can just be a guest at their houses for the holidays.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Took the Plunge

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
This is the newest member of the family, Jack. He seems to like us and I have told him numerous times, "I love you already". He is six months old, has big ears and big feet. He loves to cuddle. I think he's going to work out just fine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!!!

It is nice to have a four day weekend but this weekend is more than that to me. Thanksgiving has to be my favorite holiday. It is less commercial than Christmas. It is about a nice meal with traditional favorites and family. Now my family get together isn't the big deal that most think of, but it is a day that I plan the meal way ahead and we all sit down to eat at the same time scheduled around who has to work and who has the day off.

This year's meal was strange to say the least. No turkey. That is strange enough, but Dan didn't come home as he had that unexpected week off just two weeks ago, and he needs to come home soon for a shot in his spine, so the biggest eater wasn't at the table this year. Danielle is now vegetarian, and Stef hates seafood. So, I planned on a Costco chicken (smaller than a turkey) and a shrimp platter (I would eat some of both meal plans). Costco decided to run out of the shrimp platter and I had to settle for the sushi tray. Danielle is used to good sushi from where she works so wasn't at all satisfied by the makeshift sushi. Stef enjoyed her chicken and I had mashed potatoes, gravy (for me and Stef) and deviled eggs, veggies and dip, dinner rolls to die for, and the two layer pumpkin pie with the cream cheese layer on the bottom.

Danielle then went to work. Stef and I followed a few hours later and visited her at the bar she works at one day a week and sat at the bar for a drink. It was fun to see her at work. She made Stef two fancy drinks and it was better than sitting at home by myself after dinner.

So, no turkey, no cranberries, no green bean casserole, no stuffing. And a drink at the bar in Troy. Very strange but really nice. This holiday gives me warm fuzzy feelings.

Now to deal with the craziness and anxiety that only Christmas can give me. . . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

peak and boo.jpg

peak and boo.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley
I found this picture and it makes me smile. I think we are ready for a new cat. But we have to realize that the new cat won't be Bob. Bob wasn't Bob when we got him. He had to grow into that. Maybe this weekend?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The New Frugality

So now we are hearing on the news little tips on how to be frugal. We all need to start brewing coffee at home and carrying it to work in a travel mug. We all need to write on the backside of our scrap paper. We need to combine our shopping trips so we can save on fuel. Pack your lunch and save lots of money!!! Use coupons and combine them with sale items and become rich with all the money saved!!!! Don't go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Make a list and stick to it!!!! Eat at home. Forgo the restaurant meals. Drink tap water. We used to do that, remember?

Ok, I do all of the above. Why aren't I rich with all the money I have saved for the past 50 years? My dad had a saying, "You can go broke saving money". Dad was right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Life is Back to Normal?

Dan is back at work. He left on Friday after being home for a week. It may sound cruel that I wanted him to leave but you can't pay the bills with togetherness. He makes no money with the truck sitting in my driveway. So now things are back to normal somewhat.

Danielle is studying alot. That is good.

Stefanie is stressing alot about overdue student loans, poor wages, old vehicle, etc. Join the club.

It does seem funny to get up in the morning and not have a cat try to trip me going down the steps to make coffee. It seems really lonely and dark when I come home from work and I truly am home alone. Over the weekend I heard a little noise while reading the paper and thought just for a split second that he was vomiting. He wasn't. Once, I thought I saw him dart from behind the recliner toward the front door. Then I remembered that he was dead.

Sunday was my birthday. I had gone to sleep the night before with my phone on vibrate and missed several calls from an upset Stefanie about her car breaking down and "Please call me". Then I read text messages from Dan telling me that Stef thinks her transmission went on the old Bonneville. Lovely and all before the coffee was made. Happy Birthday to me.

Then I make my way downstairs and see bits and pieces of Stefanie's belongings and am reassured that she did make it home after all. Then I am annoyed that her car is at home and not towed to the repair shop. Then I think that she was just thinking about getting home and that she would deal with the car later. OK. Then I am annoyed that the car has been deposited by the tow truck behind my car and I am trapped in the garage. OK. I can wake Danielle up to get her keys and move her car out of the garage first and then I will be able to work my car out of it's place and go buy my Sunday paper. Then I think maybe I can start the disabled car and move it. OK. It starts right up. Maybe it won't drive? No, I pull out onto the road and drive around the neighborhood. OK. I look under the hood, check the fluids, and look for broken belts, etc. Seems normal. So why did she say she broke down on the freeway and have to be towed home?

I get in my car to go get the Sunday paper and it is very cold. And quiet. I am driving down the road and my blower fan is not running. I turn it on high and nothing. Great. Now my car is possessed too. I check under the hood when I returned home and everything seems normal. Great. No blown fuse. No broken belts. Nothing. I decide to sit on the couch and read the paper.

I drive to Costco later in the day and realize that it is getting hot inside the car and I turn the heat down. My fan is working now. I am happy about it working, but that is weird. I get up Sunday morning thinking that I have two cars to take in for repair and before the day is over, I have no car problems that I know of.

I park in the garage and go to the mailbox to check for mail from Saturday. Several birthday cards are waiting for me. Happy Birthday to me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why I Don't Do the Christmas Letter

This is so typical of my life. Whenever I think I can stop worrying about Dan's employment or lack of, something happens to burst my little bubble. Last year he got fired the Monday of Thanksgiving week. The next day a deer ran into my car as I was making my way to work. There went the Christmas bonus. What a Christmas letter our family would come up with. I think that may be why we don't do the Christmas letter.

So this November, he comes home for his 4 days off after driving for 30 days straight as an over-the-road truck driver. He gets home 2 days after poor Bob died. He didn't even want to come into the house that night. He asked me if he was going to like going in there, and I told him he would if he likes empty.

On his fourth day home, we went to his appointment to get an injection in his spine to deaden some of the pain in his back and legs and feet from his arthritis and evidently from a pinched nerve somewhere in the lower back. That went well actually. He seems to be in a lot less pain and is finally able to do some things for himself finally that I have had to do for him when he comes home. That is a cause for celebration. Maybe he will be able to cut back on some of the pain meds. Hope.

On Tuesday, he wasn't able to go out on the run they came up for him because he had to make a trip to see his medical doctor to get the blood sugar checked. He passed that test and was ready to leave out on Wednesday. No run. Sat in the truck ready to go for nothing. Came back home. At this point, I couldn't deal with one more meal to cook for him. I want and need to get back into the salad/stir fry meal plans that I have been living on (and losing weight on). I had a half a can of soup and ran to Burger King for him.

Today, he slept in the recliner waiting for the run that never came. All day. Now he has the company truck here. They are losing money while the truck sits in our driveway. However, they don't want to spend money to just have him drive out of this area for a load. Time to spend money to make money. I am going to tell him to file for unemployment tomorrow if they don't come up with something.

This year's Christmas letter would not be much better than last year's would have been.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Are We Ready For a New Cat?

Well, we are starting to talk about adopting a rescue cat. Danielle was so adamant at first about never getting another cat as long as she lives. Now she's thinking what to name a new cat. She says she prefers a male cat, maybe named something like Frankie. Stef doesn't care what we name it as long as it is cute and little. I tried to remind her that a new cat would not be Bob. Bob wasn't Bob when we got him. He had to grow with the family and became his own person. Each animal has their own personality and I am afraid we would expect this new cat to open doors with his paws on the doorknob, flush toilets just because he can, and love us at first sight. Bob didn't love us at first but that was 12 years ago and no one really remembers what he was like.

Bob came from a pet supply store in Warren where he was living in a cage with his mother. The rest of the litter had been adopted when I first met him. We had been thinking about getting a cat for a short time and I just happened to be browsing in the store and came across a little gray and white sleeping kitten. His mother had been returned once already because she was too mouthy. That should have been a warning but I took the little kitten home anyway. I took Stef to the pet supply store after work that day to show her but she was too scared to hold him so a little girl shopping with her father held him. We left with him in a box and Stef was afraid he would get out. I am not sure what she thought he might do to her. She wasn't used to animals and wasn't too sure what would happen if he climbed out of the cardboard box.

As a surprize for Danielle that evening, we took him to the ballet studio when we picked her up from dance class. That was his last outing just for fun.

Think I may stop at Petco to look at the animals up for adoption. We'll see.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Pounds

The two pounds that I have been struggling with the past few months are gone. My house is clean. I renewed my driver's license and my license plate tag. I dropped the water bill payment off at the township office before the cutoff date. I returned my library books and washed the car. I renewed my subscription to a cookbook magazine that I enjoy. Now what?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

flush it flush it now.jpg

flush it flush it now.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley

Why I Didn't Vote

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
I won't be blogging anymore about Bob after today. He died in Danielle's arms on Tuesday, Election Day. Stefanie called me at work and was crying so hard that I really couldn't understand much of what she said. I called Danielle and heard Bob crying in agony and told her I was on my way home. Unfortunately, he died while I was stuck in traffic on 696.

When I got home Stef was in the kitchen crying and Danielle was laying on the couch. Bob was under a little gray blanket on the living room floor. He liked to sleep on that blanket and now he was lifeless under it.

I lifted the corner of the blanket back and saw his little head with an open mouth and I recovered him. We took him to the vet's office and paid the $50 to cremate him. I told the girls that when I was a kid we just would have buried him in the back yard. Truthfully, when we get a lot of rain the backyard floods and I couldn't think of him under water like that.

Everyone at work was so nice to me and even stuck a sympathy card in my locker. I work with a lot of animal lovers. That made it easier. They had all heard my Bob stories for the seven years that I have worked in that office. Now they shared my grief.

I am going to send one more picture after this one. He is irreplaceable. And this next picture is priceless to me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cat Depression

Tonight I came home from work and sat on the couch with the cat wrapped in a towel and force-fed him. His little jaws are like steel traps. He is weak from not eating. Dan keeps calling me to ask how he is doing. Stef took him out today for an outing. He went to the neighbors to look for the crickets. None there. All packed up for the winter.

When I was done giving him CatSure (like Ensure for old people) and medicine to stimulate his appetite I tried to stick some food in for good measure. What am I doing? I told myself I wasn't spending money on this cat. Ten dollars for one can of CatSure. Three phonecalls to the vet, an extra trip there to pick up medicine to make him hungry. One can of food that the vet said was real "tasty". All for what? A cat that lays in the rocking chair too weak to clean the excess food off his face.

I promised the girls that he wasn't going to die. The vet said he is perfectly healthy except for the arthritis. He is "focusing on the pain". And he has decided to die. He has no will to live. What now?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sick Kitty

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
We took Bob to the doctor Wednesday evening. He was traumatized to say the least. The exam had to take place in the back room because they had to muzzle him and the blood curdling screams we heard made my skin crawl. Poor Stef immediately started crying and her mascara poured down her face.

The doctor was real nice to us but let us know right off the bat that we were probably dealing with organ failure. Not very comforting. He ordered bloodwork and that only showed that he has high cholestral. Next came an xray. At one point they came and got Stef to help them because he got away and they needed help catching him. Stef beat me through the door so I just waited in the exam room.

The doctor came in with a laptop and showed me the entire insides of my cat. Kidneys good, small liver, a big gas bubble in his stomach from all his screaming. And then he shows me the arthritic lower spine. A cortisone injection and he should be "fine by tomorrow". Bob was now convinced that he had died and gone to hell. He received his injection and we were out the door.

Today is Saturday and he won't eat, barely drinks water, and stays in the hall closet most of the time. I have tried all his favorite taste treats and no result. My husband suggested I take him outside to get some fresh air. I opened the front door and he smelled the air and out of the closet he came. I opened the screen door and he went outside, stretching his back legs as he gingerly made his way onto the porch. Over to the neighbors he went to look for last summer's crickets. They had packed up and were gone for the season so he came home and carefully made his way up our steps and went under the green tulip chair and sat.

After a while I opened the door and he came in slowly and went to the living room to try and vomit the contents of his stomach. Not much there so he went back into the closet to sleep.

This can't be my cat. My cat is playful and bright eyed. My cat bites his owners and eats or wants to eat constantly. In the twelve years we have had him, never once have I tried to get him to eat. I usually tell him that he can't eat again!!!!! My cat wanted to eat every hour. He used to think that every move we made must mean that we were headed to the kitchen to feed him.

I did try and call his doctor today and left a voicemail for him. I just need some type of advice on what to try and feed him or how to force feed him. I am worried about where this is going.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

sniff sniff a choo.jpg

sniff sniff a choo.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley
He is so photogenic. This is in happier times,

Poor Bob

Our cat Bob is 12 years old. He hasn't gone to the doctor in 10 years. I think his last visit is because he had walked over my ceramic cooktop and burned his front paws after Danielle made macaroni and cheese. He screamed and ran upstairs and ended up at the vet to get an antibiotic for the mishap and hasn't been in the car since.

We didn't take him to the vet when he fell out of the second story window and landed on the deck. We didn't take him when Stef left him on the deck with a color and leash on and he ran between the posts and hung himself when she had gone inside to take a phone call. He was fine after both incidents.

For the past year, his taste in food has changed, he has lost weight, and is constantly hungry. We have noticed all the changes but he was happy, healthy, and playful. I had to stop buying cheap cat food as all the inexpensive brands made him barf behind the couch. I just chalked up all this to the fact that he is older and he needed to lose weight anyway.

This past week things have changed. He hates all the food I try serving. He is sleeping more. He is not playful and we are worried. Today he sees the doctor. They used to have his chart with a big DANGER sign on the front of it. He had to be muzzled at the door. I don't think this visit is going to be pretty.

I bought his first cat carrier at Walmart tonight after work. I used to to just wrap him in a towel and hope for the best when he had to visit his doctor. He was neutered in that office many years ago and declawed too. And then we just stopped going. Way too stressful for him (and me). He did bite or scratch one of the workers there. She showed me the red mark on her arm. He would growl everytime someone walked past his cage. Stef is going with me. She is worried that he will have to be put to sleep. I did tell her that I can't spend a lot of money on this.

I'm thinking now that maybe he has a urinary tract infection. Wish he could tell me if it burns when he goes to the bathroom.

My appointment is at 7 so here goes nothing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Skinny Bitch

Danielle read a book recently and she asked me if I was interested in reading it too. I always used to read books that she recommended when she was a kid. She hasn't offered me any reading material in a long, long time. So of course, I said yes. Well, the book was Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. Danielle had mentioned that she was interested in becoming a vegan and I just made a quick comment to her on how I could NEVER do that.

I had noticed that strange vegetarian and organic products had been showing up in my refrigerator but thought it was a passing fad.

I read the book and enjoyed it. And I am still eating meat but I have lost 4 inches off my hips by cutting out alot of meat, trying to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting out junk food. I do still drink coffee (because I love it) and I am still drinking diet pop (because it is a habit).

Danielle and I have both lost weight. She of course, was never fat but she thought she was. I on the other hand have been told by Danielle, "Mom, you and I are riding the chubby train". That was her comment to me last spring before I started my usual spring walking routine.

I am still waiting for someone to say, "Wow. you have lost weight"! Stef told me that she sees me everyday and doesn't notice. Danielle told me, "Well, actually I only notice when you gain weight". My husband says that no one has noticed at work because I wear baggy scrubs and a very unflattering lab coat. So I'm still waiting for someone to notice. And my family keeps me humble.

Stefanie has tried eating more healthy lately too. She lost interest in Skinny Bitch halfway through but at least she tried. She is trying to cut out the fast food and eating alot of Lean Cuisine products and has actually gone to a gym a few times.

Anyone interested in eating healthier and eliminating or cutting back on meat products check out http://www.skinnybitch.net/ or read the book. I don't think a book has changed my life in a long time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Am Paying Attention to the Road!

So, I'm driving on I-696 this morning talking to my husband who is driving a semi through Ohio to make his delivery. We talk for about a half an hour and hang up so I can listen to the radio for a few minutes before I arrive at work. I need a few minutes of news, etc. just to get my mind-set for working.

As I am listening to how much the stock market went down the previous day I begin to look around my car for my makeup bag. Watching the car in front of me I casually get out foundation, mascara, blush, lip brush and lipstick and eyeshadow. One by one I start applying each item to my face. I actually feel guilty about doing my makeup in the car as I am driving but each day I find myself doing it again. I can't help myself.

I take a sip of coffee and see my phone lying innocently on the seat beside me. I reach for it and press one button that immediately puts me on the world wide web. One more button and I can see my email. Hmmmm. One new email. I don't take my eyes off the road but I can see a new forward full of ridiculous Halloween costumes. Just one more as I peek at the next picture. Ok I think that is enough.

I change my selection from the news to a book on cd and start in where I left off yesterday. I am in the middle of a book. My thought are interrupted by an incoming text message. I carefully read a query from a daughter asking me if I can order her some contact lenses. Quickly I get a response back to her. All the while observing all the rules of the road. Some people think that I-696 has no rules but they are there I'm sure.

I arrive at my destination. Work. I leave my little habitat and head through the parking lot. I slip my cell phone into my pocket where it will remain until the next text message arrives.

Long gone are the days when you drove to the destination without any interruptions from the outside world. Now everyone you know is just a fingertip away. Send me a text. And pass the mascara.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Waiter Rant on Oprah

I mentioned that I took Wednesday afternoon off and happened to catch the last half hour of Oprah. I love her show (usually) and just never get to see it. Anyway, her show was on rudeness. What a great topic. I could go on for hours but I'm sure you would stop reading in a few seconds. So. . . I won't.

Her guest was the guy who wrote "Waiter Rant". Very interesting for anyone that has worked in the service industry. His blog is http://www.waiterrant.net/. I liked it so much that I have been trying to catch up on all his old entries. Both of my daughters work in restaurants as bartenders and servers so I hear these stories all the time. He has written a book that has been on the bestseller list for a while. I highly recommend the blog if you aren't too busy.

We as a nation are rude. We treat servers and clerks and health care workers like slaves. We tip poorly mainly through ignorance and we don't care. When I moved to Michigan I was quite surprised how rude the natives were. We promote tourism and tell people we are friendly. We are not. Today at Walgreen's I saw a cart of clearance items and I said to the two ladies searching through the cart, "Anything good in there?" They continued looking and ignored me. Ok, so I remembered that the other day in Costco, a man behind me in line stated, "Gee this place is nuts. And people are so rude!" He proceeded to tell me how he tried to be nice to someone and let them go ahead of him and someone else just butted in front of him too. You can't be nice to some people.

Mitch Albom's column in the Detroit Free Press last Sunday told how we need to be nicer to each other to get through these tough times. People got through the Great Depression by helping each other and showing kindness and understanding. I keep thinking about that article and hope I can make things better for the people I come into contact with.

And check out the new blog. Pretty entertaining.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Afternoon Off or I Hate Cars

Ok, so I took the afternoon off. I have a lot of unused vacation days, personal days, whatever that I can use before the end of the year. And I needed to pick up my car from the shop anyway. I have been using Stefanie's car (actually my car too) to get to work these past few days while the repair shop replaced two belts in my car and removed my axle from the transmission to get a plastic bag out of there. I guess I drove over a plastic bag and it got sucked up into my car's moving parts and wrapped itself around whatever and knocked both of my belts off my car.

Only I could do that I'm sure. But I'm back on the road again. Bought a new car battery last month. And I need some new tires too. Figures, I am getting ready to make my last car payment. So, if I could stop paying for car repairs I could finish paying this puppy off. Grrrr!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

To Walk or to Blog?

I arrive home from work, hit the garage door opener from the driveway and it opens. I breathe a sigh of relief. No one is home. The twenty-somethings are at work and Dan is safe and sound alseep in his truck in Arkansas. The cat greets me. So does the floor with cat prints all over it. Is that poop? Lovely. Cat litter is scattered across the kitchen floor. The washing machine is pushed back to the wall. Evidently the last wash load was out of balance and no one stopped it and redistributed the load. I would have if I had been home. The sink is full of dirty dishes. I rinse them off and put them in the dishwasher.

Then I pull the full trash bag out of the container, scoop the litter, sweep the floor and go outside with two extra trash bags that must have come from someone's room upstairs. I must be the only one that knows where the outside trash cans are. Then I feed the cat, and get the swiffer out and give the kitchen floor a once-over. I wash the kitchen counters and vacuum the floor in the foyer, kitchen, dining roon, and living room. I put the vacuum away as the phone rings. Dan wants to know why I am at home already and what time did I leave work.

Do I fix myself something to eat and watch the news? I already know the stock market fell another 600 points. Do I put on my walking shoes and head out the door for some fresh air and exercise? I bring in the mail. The water bill is overdue. Swell. The plates on the Kia are due to expire soon and bonus, my driver's license expires on my birthday. Can't renew by mail. Does that mean I get to take the test? This day gets better and better.

I grab my purse and keys and head for the car. I pass by the washing machine. I look in and see someone's laundry all wrapped around the agitator. Hmmm. Looks like some clothes are all stretched out. I reclose the lid and head into the garage. I drive to the library and sit down to blog. I feel better already. The cat can wait. Dinner can wait. This is my time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I think I am addicted to blogging. My family doesn't know. My husband thinks I am at the post office buying stamps. My kids don't know but then they have their own additions. Danielle is addicted to FaceBook. Stefanie is hooked on MySpace. They have their own addictions to deal with. That gives me more time to deal with my own.

Took the day off to be with my husband. He's at home and I'm at the library blogging along with all these other addicted lost souls. I see the same people here everytime I come in to update my addiction.

Finally figured out how to add some pictures to my blog. I'm getting there slowly. Check back in with me next month and I might have my picture on this thing. Just give me a chance. Too bad I have to work tomorrow. Cuts into my addiction time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

First Day of October Leads to Winter

As I was driving home today from work with my empty gas tank I noticed the trees along the expressway are starting to change from lush green to typical Michigan fall colors. Sometimes we forget to notice and all of the leaves are on the ground before we even can appreciate them. Life just gets in the way sometimes. The financial crisis, the election, gas prices, office remodeling going on in the midst of caring for patients, etc. all gets in the way of our slowing down and enjoying the too brief fall.

I love fall. I love the colors and the smells. Yates Cider Mill and Halloween candy. I love it all but it all leads to winter. As I get older, I dread winter more each year. But then I realize that I need to stop and look at the colors, smell the apples, drink the cider and enjoy life. Tomorrow we can worry about filling the gas tank, and hoping the senate will pass the bail out and evert financial crisis for the country. Today, I will look at the colors, take a deep breath and hope we have a mild winter.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Man Those Were Good Times

The wedding was great. The bride was beautiful. The church was in Birmingham and was also beautiful. The weather was just perfect. Stef and I cleaned up real well and arrived on time even though she had some anxiety about that. I raised one child that can't be late and one that can't be on time. More on that some other day.

We did meet the new boyfriend and we love him. If they break up maybe Stef and I can keep seeing him. He sat with us for the wedding and for the reception so we got plenty of opportunity to embarrass Danielle and ourselves but I think we did well.

I got tears in my eyes when I looked back at the bridal party and saw that the bride's grandfather was preparing to walk her down the aisle. He had been such a factor in her growing up years that it just seemed right that he give her away. He bought her the first car, paid for her first semester of college, provided a safe haven for her when her mother would periodically kick her out of the house. It just seemed right. Her father only just recently established any relationship with her even though his two other grown children were in her wedding party. He called the day of the wedding and told her that he not only wasn't coming to the wedding but that he wouldn't be talking to her again.

The reception was very nice just hard to find. I guess the limo driver (Super Mario) got lost too, so I didn't feel so bad. I had the sun in my eyes trying to drive into the west at sunset, the first street MapQuest told me t0 turn down was closed for construction and it went downhill from there. Stef kept saying, "I'm hungry". I finally told her, "Shut up! There's no food here!" But we did find it after all and so did everyone else.

After dinner, I went up to the bride's grandfather to tell him how happy I was to see him walk her down the aisle. He told me a story about how Danielle had lost a piece of jewelry in the lake when she was little and the girls were staying at his house. He dug in the murky lake water for hours looking for a ring because she was so upset about losing something that had belonged to me. She had it in her towel and forgot when she went to dry off after swimming and the ring went into the water. He looked at me and told me how beautiful Danielle is and just how much fun it was when the girls were young. He said, "Man those were good times". And they were.

P.S. Danielle did live through the maid of honor speech. She talked about how they have known each other since they were five and what the bride and groom can do to make a good marriage together. She told the bride to admit it when she is wrong and shut up when she is right. She then told the groom to remember "Happy wife happy life".

P.P.S. But when I think back on the evening, I will just remember that, "Man those were good times".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Wedding

Ok, so we (me and the daughters) are going to a wedding on Friday. Should be interesting. The bride is Danielle's first childhood friend to get married. And Danielle is the maid of honor. Her first experience in that position. And I get to meet the guy that Danielle has been "seeing". I have been warned not to embarrass her and so has Stef. Cuz you know, we do stuff like that if we aren't warned ahead of time.

The girl has been a Bridezilla from the first day. And actually Danielle has taken it pretty well but I think with 12 credit hours in college, 2 jobs, and the assistant bridezilla position, she is looking forward to the end. That is, if she can come up with a speech for the reception. She is agonizing over that idea. She says she can't get up in front of people and speak. I told her that no one is going to really pay attention to what she says and they will go back to the drinking and dancing. She doesn't believe me.

The whole ordeal has been quite expensive for Danielle too. The bachorlette party was a huge financial drain on her. One bridesmaid took off for Vegas with her boyfriend, saying that she just couldn't pass up the opportunity to go on vacation. She paid nothing towards the party. Another girl rode in the limo and paid nothing. Danielle bought the food, arranged and paid up front for the limo and bought all the party favors, and decorations, etc. all by herself.

I hope the wedding goes well. I hope the bride looks beautiful. I hope Danielle's speech is perfect and I hope Stef and I behave properly at the reception and we don't embarrass anyone.
And I hope the bride and groom live happily ever after.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Begins at 32

When I was young I never really felt part of what was going on. The best I can describe it is as if I was an observor and not a participant. I wasn't the kid that went around with a cute smile on my face. I was shy, serious, and always observing life. I always knew and felt that something was wrong with me. Something was missing in me. Other people had "something". I didn't.

At age 32 that all changed. I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful daughter named Danielle. At 35 I gave birth to my second daughter, also beautiful, named Stefanie. Life became more colorful, active, and whizzed rapidly past my head. I was finally part of life. I belonged to someone. The hole in my heart that was created when my mother died was finally filled with little people needing me. This is what I had been waiting for. So many years of not knowing where I belonged were finally over.

Now the girls are past the age of being taken to school. No one runs to greet me when I come home from work. No one calls me at 3pm when they used to come home from school and call just to check in. And you know what? That's ok. Life is different again and I am ok with it. I have time to play on the computer, browse in stores, and I don't have to lift anyone up to sit in the shopping cart at Target. And it is ok. I am ok.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

20 Pounds

My mother died when I was 16 and she was 48. I immediately consoled myself with food that she wouldn't have approved of. Lots of food. She wasn't there to hear me getting into the refrigerator. I gained 20 pounds.

When I graduated from college I lost 20 pounds. I was nervous about going out into the world and actually making a living and being responsible. I was in the habit of cutting classes and such and the real world doesn't work like that. Life became normal again as I adjusted to the working world and I gained 20 pounds.

When my father died I was 43 and I lost 20 pounds. Food tasted like sawdust in my mouth. Life eventually settled down to normal and I gained 20 pounds.

Every spring I resume my walking routine and lose weight (20 pounds?) and feel good about myself and eat healthy. Winter comes and I sit on the couch and eat and gain weight (20 pounds?)

Do I see a pattern here?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Danielle's Computer

So I spent lots of money trying to fix my daughter's computer so she wouldn't have to buy a new laptop for school. Then when she gets it back it takes her 2 weeks to try it out and then tells me that it is too old and she had planned on throwing it in the trash. So I called the computer guy about it not working and he said to just bring it into his shop and he thought that maybe it was the broadband I had gotten for her.

So I come home planning on grabbing it and running out the door and for the heck of it I plug it in and start it up. Of course, it works. Now when she comes home she is going to be mad because I used her computer. I am thinking that maybe I can't win. What do you think?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I thought my life would be different

I thought I would have more money in my 401k.
I thought I would be skinnier.
I thought I would have a dog.
I thought my kids would have moved out of the house.
I thought I would have written a novel by now.
I thought I would have moved back to Indiana.
I thought I would care more about what car I drove.
I thought my marriage would be different than what it is.
I thought I would be smarter.
I thought I would have taken more vacations.
I thought one of the girls would have baked me a birthday cake at least one time.
I thought my mom would have lived to see me graduate from high school.
I thought that 56 would feel old.